May 20, 2018:


Yesterday Prince Harry married American Meghan Markle and I couldn't get enough of the royal wedding. What a gorgeous dress, the bride was radiantly beautiful and the church at Windsor - oh my goodness, the flowers alone were soooo beautiful. There's nothing like a good love story to make one appreciate how precious we can be (and should be) to each other.

I'm glad the weather was perfect yesterday for the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex's wedding. I can't say the same for around here. Spring keeps teasing and then going away. This morning I woke up to a "balmy" 47 degrees F outside, rain, damp, and I turned the heat back on! It's May 20th, the heat. should. not. be. on. Period.

Last Thursday, however, was beautiful. I was able to get a goodly amount of yard and garden clean-up done over several days last week. I also took some photos of my flowering tree anchoring the north corner of my house and made the current collage. I think it's an ornamental cherry, and on the the other end of the house, I think that's called a purple sand cherry? I'll have to check that. The blossoms on the tree do not have a distinct fragrance, but the purple shrub that wants to be a tree (despite my hacking it back, back and back yearly - I'm losing, by the way) has myriad blossoms with a distinct fragrance. I can't decide if the scent is too beautiful to bear or too awful to smell, it certainly can be overpowering!

This coming week will be the third cut of the grass this season. We had rain late Friday night and then for several hours earlier this morning. This rain, on top of the rain we had over four days the prior weekend, and the grass is growing like nobody's business! I don't mind doing the grass, though, as long as it's not too hot, too cold, not raining, and not too windy. I'm not picky at all, am I...

I still have a lot of raking out of areas that suffered from snow mold over the winter, and have not yet really tackled cleaning out the north flower bed in the backyard. That will be a chore!

But Memorial Day weekend is coming. This coming Saturday I will be out with a friend (who has a nice large van - goody!) stocking up on potting soil, top soil to fill in never-ending low spots in the yard, grass seed, and lots of plants! For some reason, this spring seems busier than those in prior years. I can't figure out why that is...


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Birds of a Feather...

...flock together.  How true, how true.  I believe that is why the Ladies of the Bus a/k/a Rockin' Crazy Cougars, have bonded.  It's amazing how quickly you can find friends and cohorts on the bus ride to and from work.

Tonight is Thelma's house-warming.  Thelma is far too young to be a cougar -- she's only 32.  In June of this year she moved into her very first apartment away from home, away from the sheltered life she has always known.  It took awhile for her to get her place together, and thus the long delay in the house-warming, but tonight's the night.

So, for Thelma (not her real name -- most of us have nicknames.  I'm Jannibal {chomp chomp}, for instance) I wanted to get a house-warming gift that would be meaningful and useful as well, and beautiful too!  The problem was, I didn't have much time to shop, and I wasn't sure what the heck I would get.  At first, I was thinking "spa" -- but since I did not know her color scheme or what she had -- she's been very close-mouthed about it all, drat!  So I thought "I'll get her a gift basket in a nice neutral color of bubble bath, lotions and potions, etc."  And of course I couldn't find one that rang my chimes.  Double drat! 

So, this morning I headed to TJ Maxx on a mixed-bag weather day; one minutes it was cloudy, gloomy, damp and cold; the next moment it was sunny, breezy and I was far too warm in my winter jacket!  Sweated on the walk back home, whew!  And I had -- SUCCESS!  My eye was caught by several different things, including one of those cases that look like an antique book, some glass and chrome soap dispensers (after I had told myself I wasn't going to consider any such accessories, these were soooo pretty and the price was soooo right, I was very tempted), even some Christmas ornaments. I considered some of those mercury-glass tall votive holders, and some neutral-colored picture frames and then -- I saw it!  On an upper shelf -- a candle holder. 

Only, I didn't realize until I got it home and read the little tag on it that it's actually a jewelry holder!  I couldn't read the tag at TJ Maxx because I didn't have my tote with me and therefore, no reading glasses.  I'm blind as a bat when it comes to reading without my Walgreen's cheaters!  (When I go shopping I only carry my empty canvas totes and cash and cards are stuffed into pockets.) It's branches have little birds on them and the thing I thought was supposed to hold the candle (a nice size candle) in the shape of a bird's nest is probably supposed to hold watches and such!  LOL!  Of course I didn't think to take a picture of this find before I wraped it up, and I'm not going to unwrap it now!  So I thought, I'll just find a pic of it on the internet.

Could not, for the life of me, find an image of the birds on branches jewelry holder I actually purchased.  Geez, I had no idea!  There are a kajillion of them out there, and they're all different!  So, here are a couple of pics that are sorta kinda look like the one I scored at TJ Maxx:

This one (above) is supposedly an Anthropologie bird nest and branch jewelry holder, offered at ebay.  I've no idea.  I don't shop at Anthropologie.  It's in a silver color and available for $49.95 PLUS another $12.95 for shipping.  ARE THEY NUTS?  The reason I picked this image is because the nest, with it's woven textured look, is very like the "nest" on the jewelry holder I found.

The photo below is from Kirkland's, but it looks like it was taken originally in 2009:

Sorry, I didn't save a url where I snatched the image from.  This form has actually birds on it!

My TJ Maxx find is a creamy color, metal, with some gold brushed on it here and there.  There is one nest, down low on its own branch coming out of the side of the larger branch, which I took to be the candle holder; the five-inch tall scented pillar candle I bought at TJ Maxx fits perfectly in it!  There are three birds scattered about the branches and many of the branches have small holes pierced through them, I assume so that pierced earrings can be hung from them.  Funny, when I first saw what I thought was a candle holder, I thought to myself that those branches would look so pretty festooned with some dangling crystals!  It has "feet"/base similar to the Kirkland's model but the branching is more reminescent of the Anthropologie model. 

Best of all was the price, which I won't reveal just in case Thelma ever visits here.  It was a lot less than $49.95 plus $12.95 for shipping!  It was also less than the on-sale price of $14.95 that I remember from the Kirkland's image.  Note:  I just checked Kirkland's online site and could not find the birds on branches jewelry holder, so they no longer sell it online.

This was the ONLY candle holder (jewelry holder) of this type in the entire TJ Maxx store.  DRAT!  I really like it and wanted it for myself.  The sacrifices that friends make for friends...this would look fabulous in my bedroom...

I hope/think Thelma will like it because she loves birds and nature like I do; it's in a great neutral color, it's practical and useful and beautiful (can definitely be used both as a candle holder and a jewelry holder).  It's small enough to fit into a bathroom or on a dresser in a bedroom.  In addition, Thelma owns Bob the Bird (a parakeet), so I think she'll get a kick out of my choice. I also got Bob the Bird a gift -- not sure what they're called, those seed-covered thingies that go inside and hang on the side of the bird cage.  Well, it's Bob's home, too. 

I also bought a bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream so we can all have a suitable toast this evening. Thelma is not experienced at throwing parties -- she only purchased one bottle of wine.  Now, that might work if I was the only guest coming because I can down a bottle of wine in nothing flat, unless it's a gallon, in which case it would take me a couple of hours.  Thelma is starting out a little later on the road to independence than I did; I got my first apartment at 17.  But she'll learn, just like we all did.  Fortunately, Thelma has the Ladies of the Bus to guide her :)


  1. Hi Jan. Cute and well written blog entry!!

    1. Thelma! Hey girlfriend, I know you've heard from everyone by now (except me) that it was a good party, but then, we ARE an exceptional group of lady friends :) That taco dip was soooooo good, afraid I stuffed myself on it but it seemed like the amount on the platter never got smaller and smaller no matter how many times I went back. Magic Taco Dip maybe. I got such a kick out of Bob. I would stand by his cage and call his name and he'd look and look, probably trying to figure out who is the strange Tree Creature with the unfamiliar voice. I really think he loved the constant twitter twitter of all of our talking and laughing together, like he was with his very own flock, so to speak; that's what I told Anni on the ride home from work tonight. (It was just Cowboy, Anni and me tonight). I imagine being in a flock of parakeets would be rather noisy, but good company :) Hope none of your neighbors complained that we were making too much noise!!! Tonight our bus driver teased me about blowing past the bus stop to make a light and leaving me on Water and Wisconsin, and wondered if I would have turned him in. I said you bet your BEEP I would, dude, and he laughed and laughed.